Friday, October 2, 2009

Texas Women and San Jacinto

The Battle Flag of San Jacinto

I am humoring myself, lately, with pondering the Battle Flag of San Jacinto.

When I returned to Texas in 2008, I met in Austin with the assistant to Representative Hilderbran. I remember showing the documentation I'd returned with and saying, "Eldorado was like an Alamo for the future of women's rights in Texas, and if we don't get a San Jacinto we're going to be in trouble".

Over a year later, I took the time to look up the San Jacinto Battle Flag, and found myself amazed at the prescience of the characters of the women who were behind it, and their remarkable story.

"Thousands are said to have waved the company off as they departed by steamer from Cincinnati on the Ohio River. Legend says that Private James A. Sylvester was given a long red glove (a white glove in some accounts) by the daughter of the host at a departure dance just before leaving for Texas which he tied on the flag staff. It was said to be a "talisman" and inspired the ranks at San Jacinto."

"I take it as a pledge of victory, and shall die before I surrender it to a foe."
~Private James A. Sylvester

As I ponder this revealing historical information I wonder about things.

I wonder what a group of officer's ladies in Kentucky in 1836 would have thought of a religious leader who proclaimed the color red to be completely banned from all public or private settings.

Would this have been a case of the ladies of Kentucky Vs. The Grinch?

The Grinch is, after all, the only other character in recent history who has successfully banned the color red from the sight of children. Even if it was only a bad fairy tale, and not the stuff of every day life, as it is for FLDS children, one has to wonder about this person's genuine spirituality...

The battle flag has captured more than my imagination since taking a good long look at it, and the history, which brought it to the field in Texas where our liberty as Texans was so decisively won. It was here the stage was set for the Mexican-American war and gave The United States the northern half of Mexico. This area later became the U.S. states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

And there was our gift back.

Everything about the Battle Flag of San Jacinto is the ultimate antithesis of Warren Jeffs, and indeed, polygamy.

After all, if someone can document, historically, one incidence of an FLDS lady presenting a long red glove to her man as a talisman of good luck, or designing a flag for him to carry into battle, which features a bare breasted woman wearing a red skirt, raising a sabre, and holding a banner that says "Liberty or Death"...well, I will be glad to eat my hat for anyone who can produce such historical evidence.

She was called by the women who sent it to us, "The Goddess of Liberty".
Only Texas women have the pleasure of such a history.

We do not come from Utah and Arizona where the liberty of their women is so lightly removed in the criminal practice of the human rights abuse of polygamy.

We are free women.

It was gift from our sisters in Kentucky and Ohio, who seemed to understand their own liberty was a gift from the creator, and no man could take it way from them in a civilization where human liberty was to flourish as prolifically as wildflowers.

We are free women.

Someone else can tell my Cherokee or Hillbilly friends in Tennessee, that Texas has decided to lay down the power to protect its women and children.

I will deliver my sisters there no such message.

Someone else can go tell the Mississippi Girls that we have laid the banner down and will be quiet now that we have a group lobbying our legislature, hoping to form a "Safety Net" style Committee here in Texas.

I will not.

Someone else can go tell the Alabama women, where they are proud to declare "We dare defend our rights", that polygamy will be normalized and accepted here in Texas as long as the children here are raised to believe doing it is their only means to eternal salvation.

I won't be making that call to Alabama either.

Nope, I don't plan to pick up the phone and make any such report to anyone in any state.

We are free women.

When we take a husband he is our only living equal. The law supports us and protects us in this right. We will be appealing to our laws.

After all, aren't our laws what make us civilized?

Men are good at killing people and breaking things but only women can build a culture worth living in on top of the ruins.

I like my civilization, here in Texas, just as it is right now, thank you very much.

I should really go get a copy of this flag.

Eldorado needs this flag.

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